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Why Isn’t My Water Hot?

There is nothing worse than turning on your shower and standing under spray only for the hot water to never come. So much for a relaxing shower! Instead, you spend your time thinking about what could possibly be wrong and more importantly, how much it’s going to cost to fix it. Reliant Plumbing is here to relieve you of your lukwarm water woes. Read below for some of the most common plumbing issues that cause you to not have hot water. A few even have DIY solutions you can try on your own before calling in the pros!

Top Causes of No Hot Water

Thermostat

The first place to check on your water heater is the thermostat, which measures the temperature of water inside the tank and tells your water heater when to turn on and heat more water. You can first try raising the temperature setting on your thermostat, but for your safety, you should never go above 140 degrees. Some thermostats give you the option to choose “warm”, “hot”, or “very hot” rather than a specific degree. If this does not solve your problem, your thermostat may be malfunctioning – preventing the water heater from turning on because it thinks the water is hot when it really isn’t. In this case, you’ll need to call Reliant Plumbing to help with replacing your thermostat.

 Size of Water Heater

Another common issue is that your water heater capacity may be too small. If you’ve recently moved into a new residence or installed the water heater yourself, this could definitely be the case. It’s important to work with a licensed plumber to determine the appropriate size water heater for your home or business. Here is a chart to help you determine if your water heater is the right size:

Chart to determine size of water heater

Too Much Demand at One Time

Next time you take a shower, be conscious of all the other fixtures running in your home. If your washing machine, dishwasher, and shower are all running at the same time, a correctly sized water heater could still struggle to provide all the hot water you need. It’s best to run your washing machine and dishwasher at times when no one in the home will be bathing. You could also consider upgrading to low-flow fixtures, which will reduce the overall demand of hot water.

 Dip Tube

Another common water heater failure is at the dip tube, which is a plastic tube inside the tank that runs incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank for heating. If your dip tube is broken, cracked, or disconnected, it could cause cold water to mix with the hot water at the top of the tank. You probably won’t be able to diagnose this problem on your own, so you’ll need to give Reliant Plumbing a call if you suspect a dip tube problem.

Sediment or Rust

Over time, hard particles can settle at the bottom of your tank preventing the heat from the burner from reaching the water inside the tank. We see this very often in parts of Austin that have hard water with minerals that are prone to sinking to the bottom. If you’ve got hard water, a water softening system could help slow this process down. However, you can likely eliminate the issue of sediment all together by draining your tank. We recommend you call Reliant Plumbing for a water heater flush twice per year to maintain the health of your tank. Unlike sediment, if rust is your issue, it usually means you’ve got an aging water tank that is in need of replacement.

Hot Water Leak

There is a chance your issue is actually not being caused by your water heater at all. If you’ve got a severe leak in your hot water system, you may be actually experiencing a slab leak. Please check to see if your hot water bill has dramatically increased. This can be a sign of a leak.  Another quick way to test your hot water system is to shut off the hot water valve that supplies water to the water heater. Wait 15 minutes while not using any other hot water appliances then turn it back on. If you hear a significant amount of water flowing through the pipes, this can be an indicator that you have a leak in your foundation – not your water heater.

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